Yesterday evening, our community in Littlepace was slowly coming to terms with news of the sudden death of a much-loved parent in our school, Tanya Ennis.
Tanya was the devoted mother of two wonderful boys, Ryan in Ms. Clerkin’s 5th class and Devin in Ms. McCarthy’s 3rd class and wife to Mark. Her death has left a numbing shock right across our school community and I know that I join the entire community in sending our deepest condolences and sympathy to her family and many friends.
I have been inundated with texts and messages of good will, support and sympathy to the school from so many of the current and past parents in the school. This is testament to Tanya’s connections with so many in the life of the school. I first came to know Tanya when her boys were in the Junior School. From their earliest years in school, Tanya was anxious to get involved in supporting the school, and she found the perfect vehicle for this in the Parents’ Association. So many of you will remember the monthly PA newsletters coming home, and Tanya’s name at the bottom of each one. She brought an energy and enthusiasm to the role that was infectious. Whenever there was an event to be organised, Tanya was at the front of the queue offering to help out- whether at Communion ceremonies, Confirmations, Graduations, Coffee mornings, fund-raising events, Sponsored walks, Welcoming Ceremonies- you name it and she was there, willing to help out. And she put her heart and soul into everything she did- if it was to be done, it had to be done right!
In most recent years, Tanya’s clarity of thinking and hands-on approach were put to use in a different way in the service of the school when she joined our Board of Management as a parent nominee. She relished the opportunity to contribute further to the development of the school whilst on the board, and was a valuable sounding board to me as school principal in this role. I particularly valued the advice and support Tanya offered me as principal during lock-down and again as we prepared to re-open school last August. Tanya also represented the voice of parents in the school on a number occasions, featuring on several RTE news bulletins.
This morning was a difficult one for the children in Ryan and Devin’s classes. We spent time with the children, talking to them, supporting them and helping to come to terms with the sad news. The children decided to make cards for the Ryan and Devin, which we gave to them this afternoon. We will continue to support the children in both classes over the coming weeks. If you have any concerns or would like further advice on how to support your children, please do not hesitate to contact me.
We are liasing closely with Tanya’s family on how the school can mark Tanya’s passing. We will be inviting the children in the Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Clerkin’s class to form a socially-distant guard of honour outside the school on Monday morning, as Tanya’s remains are brought to the church in Huntstown. A virtual book of condolence has been opened, where you are invited to pay your respects, by following the link:
I would like to conclude by adding my own personal expression of deepest sympathy to Mark and his two sons Ryan and Devin. Tanya was a unique individual, full of life, energy and fun, with a terrific sense of humour. Our school is a better place for having Tanya’s support for so many years, and we are all better people for having the privilege of knowing her.
May her good and gentle soul rest in peace.
Mary, Mother of Hope Senior National School